Train Like an Olympic Athlete - NBC 7 San Diego
London 2012

London 2012

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Train Like an Olympic Athlete



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    Are the chiseled bodies of Olympic athletes inspiring you to get off the couch and into a gym?

    The London Games can certainly motivate the typical American to perform above-average workouts. With more than 500 athletes on Team USA going for gold, it might be fun to attempt a personal victory of burning some extra calories. Here’s a few Olympic sports to try out right here in San Diego.


    The inspirational story of local athlete and four-time world champion Sarah Hammer is certainly enough gusto to get people on a bike.

    You can take advantage of San Diego’s ideal weather by jumping on a bicycle and riding along the Silver Strand in Coronado.

    Or there’s the option of the stationary bike. General manger of Breakaway Cycle in La Jolla Adam Schepps said the number one advantage of training indoors is safety.

    “You see more and more incident with cars and bicycles,” Adam Schepps said.

    The controlled environment of a spin class, in addition to the help of an instructor, can really help to increase the ability to maximize your training time. Plus, indoor cycling is a low-impact workout, said Schepps.

    But unless you want to devote your whole life to cycling, it might be difficult to make it to pro-status.

    “It’s basically their full time job,” said Schepps.

    Beach Volleyball

    Miles of San Diego shoreline provides the perfect place to try out your hand at outdoor volleyball.

    The sport and social club VAVi offers a coed beach volleyball league to get you in the game. The league offers three levels of play: Social, competitive and a beginner class. 

    Start slow with a beginner class, then work your way up to competitive. The nice thing about VAVi is that after games, players can attend a post-game happy hour with the team. Because even aspiring Olympic athletes need to celebrate with a brew once in awhile.

    Get full Olympic coverage here


    Swimming is arguably one of the sexiest Olympic sports in the London Games, thanks to the fierce competition between U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.

    To log some serious pool time, try swimming at a local YMCA chapter with the Master’s Swim club. The group has coaches train you on stroke technique and endurance tips.

    There’s even a former Olympic competitor coaching the team. Alison Terry, a former Olympic trial competitor, helps coach the team alongside Alan Voisard, who also trains Paralympic athletes.

    With four practices offered every weekday and swim meets every couple months, Master’s Swim will make you feel just like you’re part of Team USA.


    Want to run as fast as Chula Vista Olympic athlete Desiree Davila? Try sprinting with a group.

    More than 150 runners gather each week with the VAVi running group said Heather Blake, who has run three seasons with the team.

    “The biggest advantage is the motivational aspect…. Running by yourself can be pretty boring,” she said.

    Blake was able to cut 30 minutes off her marathon time thanks to the group training and the buddy system helped her push a little harder.

    “With 150 people in the group, there are varying ranges of pacing,” she said.

    So if you want to join the group, there’s bound to be someone who can train at the same pace.


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